12 results for tag: sustainability


Hold The Salt: Options For Keeping Your Sidewalk Ice-Free

Winter weather in Oregon can be unpredictable. With this latest cold snap, it is time to start thinking about how we combat snow/ice on our sidewalks and driveways. The cost of so much salt Salt is used in many parts of the country because it lowers the freezing temperature of water and therefore can help accelerate the melting process of snow and ice. However, after it’s spread on roads or sidewalks, all of that salt has to go somewhere, and most of it washes into the storm sewer and gets deposited into the nearest river.  There, it can harm freshwater fish, frogs and other wildlife that aren’t acclimated to salty water, and can reduce ...

Don’t Let Winter Weather Limit Your Transportation Options

Getting around by bike, foot and transit is great for your health, your community’s health and safety, and the long-term prognosis for the livability of the planet. However, it can feel more difficult when the weather turns dark, cold and wet. Here are a few ways you can get through the long dark months without reaching for the car keys! Plan ahead. Set out your bike gear the night before. Make sure you know which bus you’re going to catch when, and plan your morning accordingly. This may feel like a hassle, but the fact is that your bike ride and your walk (and your transit ride, if you’re lucky enough to have some good bus-only lanes ...

Hold the wrapping paper! Most of that gift-wrap is not eco-friendly nor recyclable

It is that time of year again—no matter what holiday you celebrate, or what religion you subscribe to, it is difficult to be unaffected by the enthusiasm of the season of giving and reflection. It is predicted that the average American will spend $942 on holiday gifts this year. It is no secret that as consumerism spreads, landfills also fill up, and the Earth suffers.   According to Stanford University, Americans throw away 25% more trash during the Thanksgiving to New Year's holiday period than any other time of year. And most of that holiday wrap is not eco-friendly nor recyclable. A whopping 40% of the world’s industrial logging goes into ...

Climate-Friendly Communities Don’t Magically Appear

Oregon Environmental Council and 1000 Friends of Oregon have a long history of partnership, especially working together to advance compact community design with a myriad of reliable alternatives to driving. When people live close to their daily destinations and have lots of transportation options, we can significantly curb climate pollution from everyday travel. And the good news is that climate-friendly communities have lots of other benefits: the air is cleaner, the costs of getting around are lower, it’s easier to get exercise by walking and biking, they are cheaper to build and maintain, and--because they use less space--precious farm and ...

Oregon Health Authority Wrestles With Commitment to Transparency

At the most recent meeting of the Toxic Free Kids Act Rules Advisory Committee the chemical industry publicly admitted that many chemicals in kids’ products may lack key data on their safety. This sort of disregard for product safety and transparency is sadly a routine page out of the chemical industry's playbook.  The issue of transparency was another hot topic during the most recent rules meeting. While it's a common move for industry associations and manufacturers to refuse to provide transparency on chemical ingredients and safety assessments, it's less common to see it from state agencies.  The heart of the matter under consideration by ...

Plastic Un-fantastic

The toxic effects of plastics pollution on human health —Belinda McFadgen, for OEC In early March of 2019, a Cuvier’s beaked whale washed up dead in the Philippines. The whale had died of gastric shock, brought on by the 88 lbs. of plastic bags found in its stomach. The sheer volume of plastic waste and its brutal impact on marine wildlife is shocking. But just as disturbing is the emerging story of how the toxicity of plastic pollution is affecting human health and the health of the planet as a whole. A growing understanding of toxic effects More than twenty years ago, a health hazard from widespread plastic use made headlines. In 1993, ...

Allison Hensey

Allison Hensey believes in the power of collaboration to effect real environmental change. Here in Oregon, she’s built an impactful career in conservation, including 9 years as a staff member at Oregon Environmental Council from 2006 - 2015. At Oregon Environmental Council, Allison focused on strengthening ties with the agricultural community and bridging the divide between urban and rural constituents. She holds a deep respect for farmers in Oregon, who helped inform her approach to agricultural and water policy. “We can talk theoretically about what can happen, but farmers will tell you what will work. Having conversations about best ...

Watch your waste this holiday

Oops. In 2015, Oregonians generated slightly more waste and recycled slightly less than in years past, according to DEQ. We created 2,553 pounds of waste per person, or about 7 pounds a day—and we recovered slightly less than half of that for recycling, energy or compost. That's not good news for our state's goal, also adopted in 2015, to recover 55% of our waste. But holiday season is a great time to make a real difference. Americans spend $228 billion every year on Christmas gifts and celebrations, and half of the paper we consume each year goes to wrapping and decorating consumer products. By sticking to a tight budget for trash, we ...

Greywater: The Secret to Gardening During Drought

Guest Article by Molly Danielsson It’s gardening season, time to water home-grown cucumbers and melons. Despite a cool July, much of Oregon is experiencing drought. Several streams are approaching record lows for this time of year. What’s a conscientious gardener to do? Rain barrels can collect rainwater from roofs for the garden (and EMSWCD can help hook you up), but here in Oregon rain is often lacking when we need it the most. Luckily there’s already a consistent source of water available in your house: greywater. Greywater is the used water from sinks, showers, or washing machines. It never includes waste from toilets—that’s ...

From Paris, France to Prineville, OR: Collaboration Matters

This weekend, nearly all the nations in the world agreed to actions to avoid the most dangerous impacts of climate change. We in Oregon believe we should do our fair share to reduce emissions. That's why we've had an historic agreement to work with neighboring states to amp up our clean energy economy, create a clean fuels corridor, and limit and price climate pollution. We want Oregon to be the early bird that catches the worm--acting quickly helps us set the curve and reap enormous benefits--cleaner air, more economic opportunities for Oregon workers and businesses, and a stable climate for our natural resource-based state. We've worked with ...